Circles of the High Country, an initiative of Hospitality House, has been partnering with low income families in the High Country for nearly four years now. In that time they have seen program participants return to school, earn trade licenses, get out of debt and build life-time support relationships across race and economic barriers.
“It really has been an amazing few years,” says Chatty Majoni, program coordinator. “We have had the chance to see folks dare to dream, some for the first time in their adult lives, and to work for and achieve those dreams!”
CirclesUSA is a national program designed to help people reach self-sufficiency and for the first part of their journey, Circles of the High Country was licensed under them and gained knowledge, training and support from the established program. However, as the local chapter dug its roots deeper in the High Country, with regular classes in Watauga County and teaching students at Crossnore School and Blue Ridge Academy in Avery County, they have allowed the program to grow and transform according to local need and culture. In order to better accommodate this growth, the program has chosen to re-brand and become an independent local entity, called RISE – Relationships Intended for Self-Sufficiency and Empowerment.
The new name was developed and voted on by participants in the program.
“It perfectly represents what we stand for,” states Majoni. “The reality is that in order to create a community where all people can thrive, it will take relationships between all people in that community.”
RISE will kick off its new identity in style with the fundraising event A Chair to Remember in which old and donated chairs are re-imagined by local artists and talented community members and auctioned off to ‘Celebrate the Art of Second Chances.’ The event will be graciously hosted by The Inn at Ragged Gardens during their Music on the Lawn on September 2nd from 5:30-8:30pm.
Like these donated chairs, RISE recognizes that everything and every person deserves a second chance. They invite everyone to celebrate these last days of summer by enjoying these local artists and helping to create a community where all people can thrive.
“We’ve seen it working already for nearly four years,” says Majoni. “We all have high hopes for what this program can continue to achieve and the impact it can have with individuals and the High Country community as a whole.”
For further information, please contact Chatty Majoni at 828.264.1237 ext. 115 or [email protected] To learn more about Circles of the High Country, follow them on Facebook/HighCountryCircles. To learn more about Hospitality House, visit them online at www.HospHouse.org and follow them on Facebook/HospHouse and Twitter @HospHouseBoone.
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